Here’s Jaxton’s birth story. Beginning to end. Lots of details and memories. It’s long, but I wanted to share God’s faithfulness and His perfect timing, plus our sweet little blessing. From the VERY beginning.
Most of you may recall that way back in September 2011, I miscarried. And we prayed. You prayed. Then in December 2011, I had a tubal pregnancy that ruptured, requiring emergency surgery to remove the pregnancy and one tube. And we prayed. You prayed.
After a long few months, we found out we were indeed pregnant again. February 15th, 2012, to be exact. That’s the day we found out. Our minds were excited, but our hearts were hesitant. We wondered if this pregnancy would last. If it would be healthy. The news came. The sac was collapsing. I waited a week to miscarry naturally and it never happened. The pregnancy symptoms never left. And we prayed. You prayed.
That monday, I called my doctor and told him that I would take the pill that would force miscarriage, but I requested one more ultrasound to confirm before we moved forward. I prepared my heart and my mind. My exact words to the ultrasound tech were “I’m not planning on seeing anything, but I had to make sure.” Her exact words back to me immediately after I saw the little peanut and a little flutter was “there’s a baby! and a heartbeat!” I saw it. I saw that little heartbeat with my own eyes. And I immediately prayed. She sent me back to the waiting room and rushed off to tell Dr. Gayle. “Erin’s baby has a heartbeat.” He replied “Malisa, that’s not even funny.” He thought she was joking. We all saw just the week before that there was nothing there. Between two ultrasounds, the sac was clearly getting smaller and there was nothing inside. He brought me back into the ultrasound room and performed another for himself. There it was. A little miracle. A baby that just the week before was not there. The pregnancy was failing and now there was a healthy heartbeat. Dr. Gayle had no words. He was speechless, which he claimed doesn’t happen very often. I cried and he prayed with me. The only explanation he had was “God.” One word. One Man. One blessing.
The pregnancy continued healthy as can be. I went in weekly. Ultrasound after ultrasound. Dr. Gayle and I would just stare in awe of the miracle in front of us on that little screen. Week after week he prayed with me. Week after week the pregnancy continued and the baby grew just as it should.
In March of that year, I had a gallbladder attack, which would lead to gallbladder surgery in May. Dr. Gayle wanted to make sure I was far enough along in the pregnancy to where the baby would go unharmed. Everything went well. Dr. Gayle made sure he was there as a colleague of his performed the surgery. He monitored the baby very closely, prayed again with me, and all went well. Not long after that, we found out it was a BOY! We were beyond excited. We would have been equally excited for it to be a girl just because we were so thankful that the baby was as healthy as it was. A boy. I’m still in shock that God chose to give us a little boy.
I have to admit that being pregnant is not fun for me. I do like the look of pregnancy. The belly. The attention the belly attracts. Not having to suck in my tummy, but it makes me not feel well. Makes me tired. Makes my body simply hurt all over. It was a hard one to get through, but very much worth it. It was hard on my family. Having two kids at home who still needed me and me just not being able to be the mommy that I wanted to be was so hard. The remainder of the pregnancy was extra hard. First of all, it was summer. The summer heat really isn’t fun. Not in texas. Not when you’re pregnant. Not at all.
It was one thing after another and just when you thought there could be no more, something else popped up. Dr. Gayle’s nickname for me quickly became Erin “the thrill” Hill. Everything that came up were all serious pregnancy concerns. Seemed like everything that could go wrong, did. And through it all, the baby remained healthy and strong. And we prayed. You prayed.
My hands, feet, and face swelled and pretty much remained swollen the last 2 months of the pregnancy. Gestational diabetes came. I was on a pretty strict diet to control my glucose, in addition to 2 Metformin pills daily. Then it was anemia. I was now on 2 iron supplements daily. I did test positive for group b strep at some point in there, which would only mean that I’d be on antibiotics while I was in labor to prevent the transfer of infection to the baby. And I had contractions regularly for several weeks. Not strong. Nothing that I was ever concerned about. Dr. Gayle continued to tell me to call him when I had them, but I was determined this time that I was not going to go to the hospital unnecessarily. When I knew I was in labor, I’d go.
Tuesday. September 18, 2012. That evening I started having contractions. Throughout the pregnancy I had been drinking a good 64-90 ounces of water daily. It was all I drank. So when contractions started each time, I would sit down, feet up, with even more water. I knew I wasn’t dehydrated, which can cause lots of people to contract. These contractions were stronger than they had been before and more frequently. Again, however, I decided to ride them out and not call. I contracted all night long, but they never really woke me up for too long.
Wednesday. September 19, 2012. That morning I was continuing to have contractions. Every 4-5 minutes. Lasting about 1-2 minutes long. And it didn’t matter what I did, they didn’t stop. They weren’t really hurting, but were definitely stronger than before so I decided that I’d actually call Dr. Gayle. We took Karsyn to school and Mykah and I went to my mother-in-law’s house to visit. I had scheduled a cleaning lady to come that day and didn’t want to be at home while she was there. I called Dr. Gayle and he had me sit down for an hour and time the contractions and then call back. By 9:00am, the contractions were still about 4-5 minutes apart. He had me come in to check me and see what was going on. My blood pressure was high. In the 150’s / 90’s high. He checked me at 1cm and maybe 50% and said that the baby was still up high. He also tested for protein in my urine which came back at 300 mg. So, high blood pressure and protein in the urine only meant signs of pre-eclampsia. His sweet nurse walked me straight down the hall to the hospital to be monitored.
I couldn’t imagine my blood pressure even coming down that day. My world was just turned upside down. We hadn’t planned for this at all. I didn’t prepare my children for mama being in the hospital that soon and what their lives would look like. And we prayed.
That day, I spent being monitored. They checked my blood pressure every 30 minutes and had tested my protein again. By that time, my protein had increased. This only meant an overnight hospital stay and a 24 hour urinalysis to see if the protein count would continue to increase or would decrease while I was on bedrest. Dr. Gayle spoke to me about going home to bedrest for the remainder of the pregancy if the protein was under 1g. He said I would have to be kid-free to keep my blood pressure under control. How would I do that? What would our life look like for the next 2 weeks, which was still his goal for the pregnancy. Mykah already wasn’t handling mama not being home very well and it was just one day at that point.
Thursday. September 20, 2012. I had told David for about a month now that this would be the day I would deliver. I don’t know why, but that date was stuck in my head. After 24 hours were up, at about 3:00 pm, Dr. Gayle walked in. “We’re having a baby.” The protein count went up to 7g, which was MUCH higher than it was supposed to be. Within 10 minutes, I was laying in labor and delivery room 4. Within an hour, Dr. Gayle had been in, checked me, and put a Cervadil tablet at my cervix. I was still about at 1cm and maybe 70% effaced at this time. Although labor was imminent, he wanted me to labor slowly. He claimed that this would allow the baby’s lungs to get stronger. That was at about 4:00pm. Dr. Gayle ordered strict bed rest. Only to get up to go to the bathroom. No lights. No tv. No phone. At about 4:30, the contractions were obviously stronger. I felt them pretty good. They weren’t unbearable at this point, but definitely different. Definitely labor contractions. The Cervadil was working. I took Ambien and tried to get some sleep as I was very unsure of what was to come. Dr. Gayle thought I’d labor until at least noon the next day. I was certain that once Pitocin was started, that I’d go faster. At 11:00pm, the nurse came in and said that Dr. Gayle called and said to go ahead and start Pitocin. My blood pressure was unstable still and he was ready to get the ball rolling. The only way for me to keep my blood pressure lower was to lay on my left side, which I tried to do the majority of the time I slept. The bed was highly uncomfortable though!
At midnight, the nurse came in and checked me. I was now at 3cm. I ordered the epidural. I needed rest and the contractions were pretty strong at that point. If I had the epidural at that time, I’d be able to get the rest I needed to continue labor until noon. Got the epidural. Got more Ambien. And slept like a baby.
Friday. September 21, 2012. Little did I know what would happen that day. Or how quickly. I woke up at 5:00am. The nurse came and checked my vitals and had me lay on my left side again. I was starting to be able to feel my feet and legs at this point, so I pushed the little button for more of the epidural medicine. I did not want to feel anything! At 6:30am, Dr. Gayle wanted me to sit straight up in bed with my legs hanging down to help move the baby down into position. Not too long after I sat up, I felt a pop. The nurse thought the baby kicked because we heard it on the monitor, but I knew it was different. I felt it. She laid me back down and I immediately knew that my water had broke. Dr. Gayle came in at 6:50am. He checked me and I was at 5cm. Then it seemed like he just wanted to hang out and see how things were going. He sat down, watched a little morning news, chit chatted. He still thought I’d labor longer. Luckily, he had a c-section scheduled at 7:30am so he was still in the hallway when the next set of events would occur.
I laid on my left side again and then I felt the pressure. Oh, the pressure! I was out of doses of drugs to put into my epidural, so they called the anesthesiologist to come give me more, but it was too late. I rolled back over to my back and the pressure was even greater. The nurse came over and checked me. It had only been 10 minutes since she last checked me at this point. I was now at a 10. In 10 minutes. And I had to push. People rushed in. Dr. Gayle rushed in. I had 2 contractions. 2 pushes. And at 7:02am he was here. And I felt every bit of it. In the moment, it was the worst pain I have ever felt. Then it was over. Once I saw him and knew that he was perfect, there was that fleeting moment when the world stopped. I got a quick look, the umbilical cord was clipped, Dr. Gayle patted his little bottom to get him crying, then he was taken to the warmer to be stimulated even more. Those first cries were like music to my ears though. He was doing so good. Breathing great.
He was able to stay with us long enough to meet his big sisters, grandparents, and Aunt Mae Mae. The girls were in love. I have never seen anything sweeter. By 7:55am, everyone was gone. My sweet baby was taken to the nursery to be evaluated and my family left. David and I just sat there. Staring. “What just happened?” were the words that came out of my mouth. It all happened so extremely fast!!
Jaxton Parker Hill. He was here. We were so ready. And now I wasn’t so sure. He was so tiny. 6 pounds. 5 ounces. (which is tiny for my babies) and 18 3/4 inches long. The neonatologist checked him over and over and over and over again. She came to us three times within those next three days and was just in awe of how perfect he was. Just a little 35 weeker. Healthier than some of the babies in the nursery who were 37 and 38 weeks. She expected breathing issues. She expected hip issues. She expected something, but he was perfect. I was in the hospital from Wednesday, September 19 through Sunday, September 23. It was a long hospital stay and we were more than ready to be home.
I’ve spent several days now crying at that perfection that God gave us (hello hormones!), but during the wee hours of the morning sometime this past week, I realized this ….
September 21, 2011 – We miscarried. We were devastated, but didn’t know the journey we’d be on.
September 21, 2012 – We gave birth to the most amazing, perfect little boy.
God’s timing is perfect. His faithfulness is so good. I’ve spent most of my days this past week in tears just thinking about it. The journey that got us to where we are today may have been rough. There were days where I didn’t know how we’d even make it. But God knew. He knew the outcome. And His plan was perfect. Just like my little man.